20 Anniversary Edition published Mar 2006
From the publisher…
This popular classic introduced a hungry world to Rupp's unique brand of spiritual nourishment: prose, poetry, and prayer to help us reflect upon and rejoice in the sacred everyday world that is both around and within us. This Twentieth Anniversary Edition includes a new foreword, revealing retrospective insights about the budding of Rupp's own spirituality and illustrating the ongoing relevance of Fresh Bread in today's chaotic and fragile world. Over 100,000 copies of Fresh Bread are found throughout the world.
"Fresh Bread is a handbook for spiritual growth structured for reading and praying the scriptures throughout the year. The author looks at events, places, and objects common to our lives and finds the touch of God - a rainbow, a letter from a friend, a fallen leaf. These become focal points for sensitive, upbeat themes that help us communicate with the Lord.
Seasonal and monthly themes are enhanced and supported by daily scripture readings, poetic reflections, and prayers. Questions at the end of each chapter help the reader keep a daily prayer journal to assist in integrating prayer and daily life.
Fresh Bread is a book that can be recommended to anyone seeking a practical aid to spiritual development.
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"A whole batch of bread is made holy
if the first handful of dough is made holy."
Jesus, first Bread blessed and broken, you ask me to be your leaven. You lift me to your Father and gift me with your loving.
I, just a handful of dough, am asked to be the leaven for a whole batch of people so that faith will rise in hearts. It is humbling to be your leaven. It is risky to be your holy. It is goodness to be your dough.
I, just a handful of dough, am called by you to be kneaded, to bear the imprints of trust, giving life shaped by daily dyings.
I, just a handful of dough, know so little about being leaven. Yet, you lift me up repeatedly, telling me that you love me, assuring me with the truth that you are my rising strength.
Jesus, first one blessed and broken, make of me a good handful of dough, one who trusts enough to be kneaded, one who loves enough to be shared.
- Joyce Rupp
"a handful of dough" taken from Fresh Bread, by Joyce Rupp. Copyright 1985. Used by permission of Ave Maria Press. All rights reserved.
And Other Gifts of Spiritual Nourishment
Thoughts from the Author…
"...There is a tremendous need to nourish the spiritual dimension of our lives - this dimension which can so easily be overlooked or forgotten in our crazy, hectic, tightly scheduled, work-oriented lives.
Too often we separate our spiritual life from the rest of our life. It is so easy to put it aside for more seemingly urgent or significant aspects of our days. These external aspects seem more urgent, yet are often empty without benefit of inner refreshment and nourishment. We can so easily give in to discouragement or forget our visions and dreams when we do not take time to integrate our outer world with our inner world. We remain fragmented instead of drawing together all the pieces into a wholeness that gives our life meaning. This integration is accomplished by taking time to look at the very ordinary parts of our day, to pray them by holding them up to the light of the scripture, to celebrate them in the depths of our being by pausing to reflect and reverence them, knowing that the God of graciousness is always there, immanently present, active, drawing us into a deeper love relationship.
I am firmly convinced that we are effective in Christian leadership only if our hearts as well as our minds have come to know the God of our lives. I believe that this 'knowing God' comes about in many ways but that it can only be deeply rooted in us with the nourishment of regular personal prayer.
My hope for you is that Fresh Bread ... will provide this ... kind of nourishment and feed the hungers of your spirit."
- Sister Joyce Rupp, OSM
can it be?
have I for so long
forgotten to feed myself?
for nigh a year now
I was slowly starving.
getting lost in busy days,
tossing aside the hunger
that chewed away inside.
yet, I did not die.
by some quiet miracle
I made it to this moment
I nearly starved to death.
it was not my body
that I failed to feed.
it was my spirit,
left alone for days
without nourishment or care.
and then one day
I paused to look within,
shocked at what I found:
so thin of faith,
so weak in understanding,
so needy of encouragement.
my starving spirit cried the truth:
- Joyce Rupp
"can it be?" taken from Fresh Bread, by Joyce Rupp Copyright 1985.
Used by permission of Ave Maria Press. All rights reserved.
An Excerpt from Fresh Bread and Other Stories of Spiritual Nourishment by Joyce Rupp
"In this twentieth anniversary edition of this devotional work, Joyce Rupp presents catalysts to the spiritual life. Here is an excerpt on generosity, which we include under the spiritual practice of kindness." - Frederic and Mary Ann Burssat, Spirituality & Practice
Prayer — A Litany of Generosity
"Rupp, as always, presents us with fresh and imaginative ways to activate our spirituality...." Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat,
Spirituality & Practice
"This exceptionally good book gently teaches much about prayer simply by praying."
- The Bible Today
"Joyce Rupp helps readers find the touch of God in common events, places, and ofjects."
- Spiritual Life
A Handfull of Dough - Being the leaven of faith for others
A New Snowfall - Praying the message of freshness
The Courageous Heart - Growing through the hardship of life
The Hidden Treasure - Searching for what is missing in our lives during Lent
The Little Easters - Noticing the simple, joyful moments of spring
The Heart of the Seed - Recognizing the potential for wholeness in growth
The Encircling Rainbow - Sharing God's promises and signs of hope
You Are a Letter From Jesus - Inviting Jesus' qualities into our lives
The Fearful Heart - Freeing our worries to enjoyt life's goodness
The Call to Discipleship - Following God's invitation to serve
The Vulnerable Autumn Leaves - Surrendering to new experiences and growth through the power of the Spirit
The Gifts of Life, Love and Time - Struggling between generosity and self-centeredness
A Welcoming Nest - Preparing a dwelling place for the Lord